MATCH REPORT – BRFC Paris vs Amaury – FFSE Cup Round 1

BRFC Start Cup Run With A Bang!

What a Game! The British ran seven tries past Amaury at home in Domont to record a 43-12 victory and put out their best performance of the season.

The BRFC expats hosted Amaury on Saturday in the FFSE Cup. The British went into the match on the back of their first league game of the season against VRP. Sitting in the bottom half of the league table a win in the cup was greatly needed to keep the momentum going.

The team selection reflected the importance of the match with a good mix of pace and power to carry the boys forwards. In the absence of club president Richard Woolf, the captaincy of the side was given to the experienced Luke ‘Nik Nak’ Curtis. The responsibility of setting the tempo of the game fell to the versatile Nick Sanders back in his favoured scrum half position. Club leading try scorer Martin Taillander started at full back with first starts of the season for Bruno Quarena and Emmanuel Cloete.

The importance of the match was mirrored in the pre-game speech with our charismatic coach Brendan McCann setting the coming tone with some strong words to fire up his team.

The toss was won by the Brits and the choice was to kick and take the game to Amaury from the off. The ball was brought down well by Amaury and the battle began. All the early endeavours were made by the home side who were pushing for an early score, the forwards smashing into their opponents but no gap was to be found early on.

Three minutes on the clock the ball was sloppily lost in midfield, Amaury taking advantage of the turnover to spread the ball to their centre who took advantage of the gap to run clean through and showed good pace to get round Martin and race on to score the first try. Questions to be asked of the linesman with a foot into touch but the try was awarded by the referee.

Shaken early on, the British showed good spirits to get right back into their opponents faces. Phase after phase the expats made ground. Eventually Amaury’s defence couldn’t cope with the constant pressure and Martin broke his tackle and then showed great pace to equalise. Difficult conversion for Sanders but the number 9 kept his cool to slot over the posts and put the hosts ahead.

Galvanised by their terrific response, the Brits kept up the pressure and were rewarded just 5 minutes later, the backs showing some lovely handling and Martin once again showing great pace to carry the ball over the line. This time the conversion was unsuccessful

One of the key aspects before the match was to keep attacking and get as many points on the board as possible. Words taken to heart by BRFC who scored their third try after just 17 minutes played; once again the silky Martin Taillander crossing the line and getting a hat trick inside 20 minutes.

Sanders adjusted his aim to convert, taking the score to 19-5.

Amaury showed signs of a revival but the British kept their opponents at bay with some hard tackling especially by winger Elias Mayer who was keeping an eye on the Amaury fly-half who was dictating play whenever they had the ball.

With the backs taking all the plaudits in the early stages of the match the instructions from Brendan were for the forwards to get ‘stuck in’, the South African coach using his elaborate vernacular to get his message across.

It was indeed a very Springbockesque try that gave the expats a comfortable lead after 26 minutes. The line out which had been shaky was offloaded nicely by Constantin de Langautier, Sanders feeding Curtis whose inside past sent centre Ben Chorley smashing into the Amaury line. The ball was quickly picked up by Constantin whose drive created enough momentum for club youngster Franco Podgaetsky to scramble under the posts. Sanders with another conversion… 26-5 and the game already looking done and dusted.

The end of the first half saw Amaury set up camp in the British half. A sturdy defence however ensured that the score remained the same going into half time.

The second half started in similar fashion, Amaury seemingly accepting defeat but playing perhaps in more relaxed fashion and plugging the gaps which the Brits had exploited so well during the first 40 minutes.

Amaury’s defence would not hold indefinitely… star player Martin Taillander showing off all his talent to run from deep and glide past the opposition as if they were not there. 4 tries for the Frenchman and a hard day’s work coming to an end. Manny Bouscasse on for Martin, an opportunity for Manny to use his boot at full back to keep control of the game.

Another couple of substitutions with Pierre Matthieu, Louis Corbic, Louis Colin and Villi Osotuno coming on to provide fresh blood.

This was the start of a difficult period for BRFC, 10 minutes of relentless pressure by Amaury who came time and time again smashing into the British’s defence and falling on rugby’s version of the wall of China embodied by the bearded Louis Corbic with a try saving tackle.

Amaury eventually found a gap following a scrum and also converted the kick taking them deservedly so into double figures. Still a mountain to climb though the score now poised at 31-12. BRFC were starved of the ball and matters were made slightly worse when Villi was sent to the bin for a late challenge.

It was down to 14 men that the Brits upped the tempo once again. The quick play from the breakdown resumed and substitute cenre Pierre Matthieu stepped into the gap side stepped the scrum half and as he was tackled offloaded magnificently for the muscular Jeremy Lamri to shrug off the final Amaury defender and race though unchallenged. Kicking duties were taken up by Curtis after Sanders substitution and was slotted over. 38-12 with 10 minutes left to play.

After Jeremy’s try the tempo of the game fell drastically, both teams starting to tire after the high intensity contest. With Villi back on the pitch the British had an opportunity to end the game but showed their desire to score by playing the penalty. After a strong lineout and mall, the ball was picked up on the fringes of the ruck by our Fidjian star who bulldozed his way past 5 players and literally flattened the Amaury full back to score the last try of the game right under the posts.

A horrible miss from Sanders as he attempted to convert mattered little as BRFC emphatically punched the air in triumph after a well-deserved victory but more importantly the satisfaction of a first complete performance of the season.

The expats sights now turn to the league next week end against CSPTT in a bid to continue their victorious streak and climb up the table.